Has it really been ten years since Amy released Back To Black?


On the 27th October 2006 Amy Winehouse released ‘Back to Black’. I still remember going to the album launch at London’s Bloomsbury Ballroom with a friend who had never heard of her back then and who I had to beg to join me so I wouldn’t go alone.

Anyway… This might excite you if you happen to love Amy as much as I do while also being far more musically gifted than me…




BBC Sound of 2016 longlist revealed!

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bbc sound of 2016 longlist.png

The BBC Sound Of poll is one of the biggest and most accurate music surveys to find next year’s breakout star. Previous winners have included Years & Years, Adele, Sam Smith and 50 Cent.

I’m so happy to see that 2016 has a very strong line up with pop and grime genres taking the lead.

As is becoming usual (not that I’m one for gloating), the majority were featured on Alfitude a long while ago…

My bet is for Jack Garratt to win, with Dua Lipa, NAO and Frances and Alessia Cara to finish the top 5.

The shortlist is revealed at the start of January, with the winner announced on the BBC Radio 1 Breakfast Show on 8 January 2016.

Jack Garratt wins the Brits Critics’ Choice Award


So this is a big deal; previous winners have included…

  • 2008       Adele
  • 2009       Florence & The Machine
  • 2010       Ellie Goulding
  • 2011       Jessie J
  • 2012       Emeli Sandé
  • 2013       Tom Odell
  • 2014       Sam Smith
  • 2015       James Bay

It’s no surprise though… Jack Garratt looks set to be 2016’s breakout star.

MTV Brand New 2016 shortlist announced

MTV Brand New 2016

MTV Brand New 2016 shortlist:

  • Anne-Marie 
  • Blossoms
  • Bonkaz
  • Jack Garratt
  • Nimmo
  • Ratboy
  • Rationale 
  • Sigala
  • SG Lewis

After two months of battling it out to find the winner, MTV Brand New 2016 with Emporio Armani Diamonds, will host two showcase gigs early next year before the winner is announced.

Until then, you can catch playlists for each of the artists in the lead up to the January shows on MTV TRAX.

If you’re an unsigned band then you might like this…


Launching in November 2015, The Cut is a new platform to help unsigned bands gain exposure and insider advice, whilst also providing a place for music lovers to discover new talent.

To celebrate their launch, they are offering one band the chance to spend £5000 in just five hours. The competition is open to all unsigned bands with a Soundcloud account.

Set up a profile to enter and connect it to your band’s Soundcloud account. This will automatically enter the band into the £5000 competition as well as into The Cut’s LIVE CHART.

Converse will let you record some music in a famous studio…


Starting today, emerging artists, bands, and musicians 18 years and older and of all genres across the globe can register for a rare opportunity to record at the following legendary studios as part of the Converse Rubber Tracks programme:

  • Abbey Road Studios in London, England;
  • Sunset Sound in Los Angeles, California;
  • Hansa Tonstudio in Berlin, Germany;
  • Tuff Gong in Kingston, Jamaica;
  • Greenhouse Studios in Reykjavik, Iceland;
  • The Warehouse Studio in Vancouver, Canada;
  • Avast Recording Co. in Seattle, Washington;
  • Stankonia in Atlanta, Georgia;
  • Studios 301 in Sydney, Australia;
  • Toca do Bandido in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil;
  • the original brick-and-mortar Converse Rubber Tracks studio in Brooklyn, New York;
  • and the second permanent Converse Rubber Tracks studio in Boston, Massachusetts, slated to open this summer.

Unsigned Only Music Competition 2015 reveals an amazing judging panel…

Unsigned Only Music Competition 2015

With just a few to name…

  • Sinead O’Connor
  • Alt-J
  • The Killers
  • Aimee Mann
  • Dustin Lynch
  • Rosanne Cash

Designed for solo artists, bands, and singers who are not signed to a major label, if you fancy entering check out the Unsigned Only website.

The full list of judges is as follows… Aimee Mann; Alt-J; Dustin Lynch; Sinead O’Connor; The Killers; Rosanne Cash; David Crowder; Robert Smith (The Cure); Darryl McDaniels (Run DMC); Ray Wylie Hubbard; Aaron Shust; Lucero; Kelly Price; Colt Ford; Frank Foster; Jason Gray; Rapsody; Kool And The Gang; Anthony DeCurtis (Contributing Editor, Rolling Stone); Kyle Anderson (Senior Writer, Entertainment weekly); Josh Jackson (Co-Founder and Editor-In-Chief, Paste Magazine); Chris Richards (Pop Music Critic, The Washington Post); Michael Hann (Music Editor, The Guardian); Shirley Halperin (Music Editor, Billboard and Hollywood Reporter); Lucy Jones (Deputy Editor, NME); Hardeep Phull (Music Critic, New York Post); and more to be announced.

Alfitude nominated for the National Blog Awards

National UK Blog Awards

If you like Alfitude, show some love by clicking on this link to get Alfitude through to the final round of the National Blog Awards.

Win 2 tickets to the Hultsfred festival!

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Swedish pop princess Miriam Bryant is giving away 2 tickets to Hultsfred festival for a lucky winner over on her Facebook page.

Win tickets to see Rudimental, The 1975 and Clean Bandit!


Three of my favourite bands all playing together for the National Citizen Service project on May 4th. You can enter to win tickets, or even help run the show here.

Deezer Bandwagon


This might be of interest to some of you based in the UK.

Deezer are launching a series of silent concerts next week in Glasgow, Manchester, Birmingham and London with bands including Little Boots, Dog Is Dead, The Ramona Flowers and The Fridge Magnets performing from inside a Perspex box- and you’ll need headphones to listen to the gig!

There’s 300 tickets for grabs in each city to win – apply for tickets here. Tour kicks off April 15th.

Calling all unsigned bands!

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This is a bit of a cut and paste job so apologies, but if you’re an unsigned band looking for a break then this sounds like an amazing opportunity!

Hard Rock Rising is giving one local band the opportunity of a lifetime – to participate in a World Tour at Hard Rock Cafe locations, film a music video, record an album with Hard Rock Records and receive the equivalent of $10,000 in new gear.

In partnership with online music services company ReverbNation, there is an open registration for bands wishing to participate in the global battle until Monday, January 21 2013.

After fans choose their favorites, participating Hard Rock Cafe locations around the world will host a series of live competitions featuring these local bands. One winner will be selected from each location by a panel of local industry judges. Selected local winners will be narrowed down to the top twenty-five bands worldwide via a second round of fan voting on participating Hard Rock Facebook pages. Once the top 25 are determined, a panel of music industry professionals will select the grand prize winner and two runner up bands.

The Grand Prize winner will play a World Tour in cities including Sydney, Tokyo, Hong Kong, London, Chicago and Honolulu, arranged by Hard Rock International; record an album with Hard Rock Records; shoot a music video; and receive new music equipment and gear valued at $10,000. Two runner-up bands will each receive new music equipment and gear valued at $10,000.

Just because I love Alfitude readers- win an iPhone dock!

The opportunity has arisen for me to offer you one of these cuties- it’s called a Muse M-105IP. It’s a clock radio that docks to your iPod/iPhone as well as a mini entertainment centre with a composite video output. There’s a few more iPod speakers over at Hifi Tower.

To enter, just email alfitudecomps@gmail.com with TOWER in the subject line, along with your name and address before 12:00 UK time on 25th July 2012.

Your emails won’t be added to any marketing lists or anything, it’s just a competition open to anyone living in mainland UK, Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, and Sweden. Good Luck!

Win tickets for the Hidden Depths night!

Tiger Beer’s ‘Hidden Depths’ series continues, following a sell out shows with Ninja Tune at fabric and Hyperdub at Koko where the crowd were treated to a line-up that explored the influences and inspirations of two of the UK’s most innovative record labels.

Following a series of sell out shows with Ninja Tune at fabric and Hyperdub at Koko, Chris Goss and Azonica present the ‘Hidden Depths of Hospital’ mix in anticipation for the next show which is taking place at East London’s XOYO on Wednesday 25th July 2012.

The mix treats listeners to an educational selection of music from Hospital’s back catalogue featuring tracks from Netsky, Dagga, High Contrast, Cyantific and more.

01. Future Homosapiens – Talk Box
02. MIST – Taking Over Me
03. Peter Nice Trio – Harp Of Gold (Mr Scruff Remix)
04. Landslide – It’s Not Over
05. DJ Kalm – Mirage
06. Tomahawk – Until Dawn
07. High Contrast – Global Love (Calibre Remix)
08. Dagga – Laughing Gas
09. ??????????
10. Cyantific – 90
11. Makoto & TAK – Voyager
12. Netsky – Memory Lane

Track 9 in the track list has been left blank: guess the track name and win two tickets to the event by sending an email over to alfitudecomps@gmail.com with your answer and contact details before 12:00 Friday 20th July 2012.

Win tickets to Fuji Rocks!


Liam Gallagher’s Pretty Green label has teamed up with Universal Music to make classic vinyl albums available via mobile. Buy a piece of vinyl in the next 3 days and see if you win tickets to see The Stone Roses and BeadyEye at Fuji Rocks Festival in Japan. Competition closes Saturday 30th June. To enter:

  1. Download the Simply Tap app from iTunes or Google Play, and register your details once.
  2. Buy the album you want by this Saturday, 30th June, using the tap code, qr code, or image recognition
  3. Get it delivered and see if you’re the lucky winner of two tickets to Tokyo! T+C’s apply.

Win tickets to Capital FM’s Summertime Ball 2012!

The much-anticipated Capital FM Summertime Ball hosted by Capital FM in association with Vodafone takes place at the legendary Wembley Stadium on the 9th of June 2012 with Katy Perry, Justin Bieber, Coldplay, Jessie J, The Wanted, Pitbull, Flo Rida, Example, Ed Sheeran, Usher and Kelly Clarkson all on the bill.

Obviously though, it has now sold out. But don’t worry if you haven’t got your ticket yet, Capital FM and Vodafone are delighted to announce the ‘Take Your Seats’ competition. 

In the draw there are Golden Circle tickets to the Ball, as well as lots of amazing goodies to be won. To unlock the goodies, all you need to do is scream about the comp on your Facebook and Twitter.  The louder you scream, the bigger and better products you unlock.

You could win loads of other really good stuff. Click here to play and take your seat in the virtual Wembley Stadium and good luck!

Win tickets to catch Thundercat/ Floating Points/ Slugabed!

In association with Black Atlantic, Tiger has created ’Hidden Depths’ – a series of club and live events that explore a different side of some of the UK’s most innovative record labels. The series of shows will blend live and club performances as each label curates a night to explore the influences that informed their conception, present their current leading lights and offer a glimpse into their future musical movements.

The series will launch at fabric on Wednesday 16th May with a takeover of Room 1 by the seminal label Ninja Tune, with a showcase of burgeoning new talent. The spectrum of imprints and artists they are involved with will be showcased, with the Ninja label itself taking centre stage. Sister labels Big Dada Records and Brainfeeder will also be represented to provide the audience with a night that delves into the depths of the Ninja Tune label.

The show includes a rare performance from Brainfeeder’s Thundercat, in what will be only be the second time he has played in the UK and his first headline show on these shores. Thundercat will be backed by the astonishing talents of Ninja affiliated artist Floating Points and new signing Slugabed, with Offshore representing Big Dada. This event is strictly for over-18s. Tiger Beer supports responsible drinking – find out more at www.drinkaware.co.uk

We have a pair of tickets to give away to one lucky reader- just email alfitudecomps@gmail.com with NINJA on the subject bar and you’ll be entered into the draw. Deadline is 12:00 Friday 18th May. Good luck!

Win tickets to see Dry The River!

You can catch Dry The River at the next Energy Session (sponsored by Relentless Energy Drink) which is taking place at the Garage, Islington on the 15th of April and hosted by the guys at Time Out Live.

The Anglo/Norwegian four piece are on the cusp of great things, with an up-coming Shepherds Bush Empire gig in the offing and their debut album, Shallow Bed, set to drop in early March with their blend of emotion and musicality.

We’ve got a pair of tickets to give away to one lucky reader. All you need to do is email alfitudecomps@gmail.com with ‘Dry The River’ on the subject line, and we’ll pick a winner on Thursday 12th April 2012 and contact you.

Otherwise, tickets are available at £5 from the Garage’s website.

Win tickets to see Sam Sure & Giacomo at Koko!

Are you around in London on 3rd February? Want to see these guys at Club NME at KOKO? I’m going, and the lovely people at KOKO have given me a couple of free tickets to give to you guys too.

To enter just email alfitudecomps@gmail.com with the title ‘KOKO’ on the header bar. I’ll pick a winner at random on the 24th January at 12:00 and drop the winner a line.

Visit KOKO’s website if you want to buy tickets here.

Sam Sure & Giacomo are a duo with their eyes set firmly on the top. The mixture of slamming production, hooky melodies and straight up heart felt lyrics demand you to sit up and pay attention. Immersed in music the pair consistently push the boundaries of what a hip hop act can do, to the point where their sound no longer conforms to one genre but is a melting pot of a million influences. Experimental in the studio and mad energetic live, this is a band to watch in 2011.

At High Fidelity in the Gallery: Fabio Lendrum is a 19-year-old, South-West London-raised musician who as 2010 rolled around was already celebrating his first Top 10 hit as a writer on Example’s song ‘Won’t Come Quietly’. However it’s his own catalogue of songs that demand attention. Having already performed some brilliantly received spots at Matter and Bestival and now signed in a worldwide deal with Warner Music, Fabio is busy juggling bringing his debut album to completion and DJing as much as he can.

Win tickets to see Ghostpoet and Mike Skinner this Wednesday

Having announced its third project of 2011 last week, today RizLab sheds more light on the details of Project 3, put together by Ghostpoet and The D.O.T. Now that the recording of their collaboration ‘Trouble’ is complete they have set about creating a truly groundbreaking music video concept. The result is an interactive live-streamed music video.

Performed and shot in one take in front of a small audience, the ‘Trouble’ video shoot will be broadcast live online . Over the course of the track, ‘A or B’ options will be presented to the online audience and the favorite option will happen live in real-time to cause trouble for the artist during their one take performance.

Whether it’s an army of cheerleaders invading the stage or a water cannon fired at the artists they will have to deal with whatever is thrown at them.

With the chaos over, the resulting footage will be used to create a truly unique music video soon after. Learn more about the project or apply for tickets here.